On February 3, 2019 — the 60th anniversary of “The Day the Music Died” in Cerro Gordo County, Iowa, and one year before the 2020 Iowa Caucuses, we launched the Full Grassley, a podcast about the Iowa Caucuses, the Democratic primary, the Hawkeye State, and our changing American landscape. You can listen to the podcast here, and new episodes of the podcast will be announced on Twitter here.
So what is a full Grassley, anyway? In the most basic terms, it’s traveling to all 99 counties that make up Iowa in one year or one campaign. The Trope Namer is Senator Chuck Grassley, who was first elected to public office over 60 years ago in 1958. Since 1981, he’s represented Iowa in the United States Senate, and every year since taking office he’s made a point of visiting every county in Iowa every year — a practice that earned the name “The Full Grassley.”
Why do a podcast on the Iowa Caucuses? No matter which way it goes, February 3rd, 2020 is an important moment for Iowa, for the Democratic Party, and for our country. Iowa is changing, too — in the 2010 Census, for the first time since the Civil War, fewer than 1% of Americans were Iowans.
So this may be the perfect time for a love letter to Iowa; a podcast with a level of romanticism that would make Bruce Springsteen blush; a fun thing to listen to at the gym that still manages to explain the process, the precincts, and the people behind the Iowa Caucuses and the Hawkeye State itself. That’s what I hope to do with the Full Grassley podcast; and maybe, just maybe, we’ll get to all 99 states along the way.
This is the Full Grassley.